"We shall always remember the night... When I lost Ori to the Great Storm..."

The Spirit Tree, in the Prologue

Ori is the titular character and main protagonist of Ori and the Blind Forest. A Spirit Guardian [2] who becomes separated from their biological and adoptive family, Ori is thrust into a journey to save the forest of Nibel from a dangerous decay spreading throughout the land. Ori also becomes the main protagonist of Ori and the Will of the Wisps, where Ori is thrust into a journey to save the forest of Niwen from another decaying crisis while attempting to reunite with Ku after a storm separates the pair and discover their ultimate destiny.

Description[edit | edit source]

Ori is a small white creature with a similar stance to a human or a bunny and has a cat-like tail and large black eyes with white pupils. They have two short horn-like tufts on top of their head, and underneath them there are larger ears, which droop when Ori is unhappy or weak. Ori's feet have small white hooves, as seen in their 3D model sheet. Their name is of Hebrew origin, literally meaning "my light"[1].

Personality[edit | edit source]

Ori's nature is largely up to the player, but they do have some distinct personality traits. Throughout the prologue sequence, it is seen that Ori's personality is akin to that of a young child, being very innocent and dependent on their caregiver. But as the story goes on, Ori's character shows a massive amount of determination; even in the face of death itself, Ori never once gives up hope. Ori is also very forgiving and kind-hearted, willing to help those who have entered the darkness.

Ori and the Blind Forest[edit | edit source]

Warning! Spoilers ahead.

Ori's story begins on the night of the Great Storm, a powerful weather event that rips them free of the Spirit Tree's branches before they were born and carries them as a glowing leaf on the wind. Naru, who had been observing the storm from afar, sees Ori's leaf float by her and immediately investigates. Upon landing in the foliage, Ori is "born" into their real form. Naru, seeing the small creature as one who needs protection, takes Ori into her embrace and acts as their adoptive mother.

Some time later, Ori awakens to a scenic summer day. With their nearby fruit trees running low on fruit, the pair spend the day working together to build a bridge across a long stretch of water, gaining access to more plentiful specimens. After making it to the other side at night time and enjoying the fruit in the quietude of night, Ori carries some the fruits in their arms and heads back to their cave to store it for later. However, before they can make it inside, Ori sees the Spirit Tree from afar ablaze with light, unaware that the flood of illumination is calling for them. Naru, worried for Ori's safety, takes hold of her stunned child and hurries them inside.

Unaware that what they witnessed would eventually lead the Nibel's ruin, Ori and Naru slowly eat their supply of fruit until only a single piece is left. Naru unsuccessfully attempts to find more, but it is near impossible due to the slow decay of the forest. After Naru lets Ori take the last piece for themselves and realizing that they would both starve without more food, Ori sets out into the barren wasteland and discovers untouched fruit on a high branch of a tree. After shaking it down to the ground, Ori makes their way back home, thinking back on the memories from before the forest decayed. Ori eventually returns to the cave and offers Naru the fruit they have found. Naru does not answer. Ori tries to wake her up, but with no avail. Realizing that Naru had died of starvation in an act of selflessness for them, Ori lays down on her body, devastated by the loss.

Ori decides to leave their lifelong home shortly after, with no reason to stay now that the only parent they ever knew was dead. As they journey deeper into the decaying forest, Ori becomes very weak without food or the supporting light of the Spirit Tree. They trudge aimlessly forward into withering darkness, each step growing more and more difficult, until Ori falls from exhaustion and draws one last breath. Upon their death, thousands of tiny white flowers grow and chase away the cloud of darkness, revealing that Ori had nearly made it to the Spirit Tree. Sensing that his child had fallen, the Spirit Tree uses the last of his strength and light to revive Ori, ultimately starting the game.

After being revived, Ori travels through the Sunken Glades and encounters a mysterious light. They find out that this light is Sein, the eyes and source of the Spirit Tree's light. Sein becomes Ori's guide and support from that point onward and the pair of them travel to the Spirit Tree himself. It is here that Ori learns why Nibel began to decay: during the Light Ceremony that was intended to call Ori back home, the Spirit Tree and Ori's kin were attacked by a malevolent force, Kuro. She stole Sein from the Spirit Tree's branches and disrupted the balance of the three Elements of Light, throwing Nibel into chaos. Sein tells Ori that the Spirit Tree's light is now inside them and that the fate of the forest now rests on their shoulders. Hearing about how they must travel to the Ginso Tree, Forlorn Ruins and Mount Horu in order to restore the Elements, Ori travels forth with the determination to save their home.

During the journey to restore the Element of Waters, Ori encounters Gumo, a member of the Gumon race who had become corrupted by Nibel's decay. Though initially having to contend with Gumo's traps in order to take back the Water Vein, Ori frees Gumo from being pinned down by large rocks, an act of kindness that eventually brings the Gumon back to the light. After restoring the Element of Water, Ori encounters Kuro for the first time and is nearly sent to their second death being flung from the heights of the Ginso Tree. Gumo repays Ori's kindness with some of his own and saves the spirit, leaving them to see the waters restored.

Ori and Sein travel into the Misty Woods in order to unlock the Forlorn Ruins. After having found the Gumon Seal, they enter the Ruins to find them frozen over in a terrible cold. The Gumon who lived there all perished in the freeze, leaving Gumo as the sole survivor. After reaching the heart of the ruins and vowing to restore the Element of Winds in memory of the Gumon, Gumo overhears Ori's intentions and decides to repay them by taking the Light Vessel back to Ori's home. After escaping the Ruins, Ori and Sein find themselves in Kuro's nest and discover the true reason why she attacked the Spirit Tree: the Light Ceremony had accidentally killed her three hatchlings from its intensity, leaving only one egg left and causing Kuro to attack in her rage. Kuro herself then appears, forcing Ori to dive from her nest and flee.

With only the Element of Warmth to rekindle, Ori and Sein set out to reach Sorrow Pass and then eventually Mount Horu. At the same time as Ori finding the Sunstone needed to enter the mountain, Gumo arrives back at Ori's home with the Light Vessel and discovers Naru's body. With Ori's kindness and forgiveness inspiring him, Gumo uses the Vessel's light to revive Naru. Together, the pair of them travel to the mountain at the same time that Ori enters its depths. Through skill and courage, Ori beats the mountain's trials and finally rekindles the Element of Warmth. Before they have chance to celebrate however, Kuro appears and forces Ori to escape the rising fires. Though nearly making it back to the Spirit Tree to restore Nibel, Kuro knocks Ori unconscious just as Naru makes her way through the burning forest. As Naru cradles Ori in her arms, Kuro watches and realizes that she has become the monster she saw the Spirit Tree as; killing the children of others. Seeing what she had done, and also finding her egg on the edge of burning, Kuro sacrifices herself, returning Sein to the Spirit Tree and dying from the light.

The Spirit Tree returns balance to Nibel. As Naru and Gumo watch from afar with Kuro's unborn chick in their care, Ori stays with the Spirit Tree and watches their fellow Spirit Guardians fall and be born from the Tree's branches.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps[edit | edit source]

Warning! Spoilers ahead.

Shortly after Ku's birth, Naru, Ori, and Gumo help raise Ku in Nibel for the span of a few years. After a few failed flying lessons, Ku is discouraged, prompting Ori to use Kuro's feather to allow Ku's deformed wing the capability to fly. With Gumo's aid, the pair become successful in their flight, taking their voyage around Nibel and soared over to a different region called Niwen. However, a storm separates the pair, with Ori landing in Inkwater Marsh and Ku landing in the Silent Woods.

While searching for Ku, Ori learns that Niwen has been suffering from the Decay for a long period of time, and encounters Shriek, an orphaned owl who was born with deformities caused by the Decay. To get to the Silent Woods, Ori goes to the Wellspring and get Niwen's waters flowing clean again. While evading Shriek, Ori manages to reunite with Ku, and Shriek discovers them, hunting for them while they try to search for the feather to return home. When they find the feather on a branch in an open space, it is blown away by Shriek's wings as she corners them. She attacks Ori, causing them to fall into a pit, while Ku tries to attack Shriek to defend Ori. After flinging Ku off of her, Shriek walks over to Ku who is cornered at a ledge. She tries to stand up to her as Shriek crushes Ku under her stone wing, sending the owlet off the edge.

Ku is found by Ori and the Moki in critical condition and brought back to Kwolok's Hollow, where she is wrapped in a leaf. A devastated Ori lies down next to her. The Voice of the Forest surrounds Ku with a field of flowers trying to help her, but as Kwolok explains to Ori, it is currently too weak in its own dying state to fully heal her. This is because with the Spirit Willow's passing, the light it carried broke apart and scattered all across Niwen, leaving the forest vulnerable to corruption and decay. If The Will of the Wisps: the Memory, Eyes, Strength, and Heart of the Forest are brought back together in time with the Voice to reform Seir, the Spirit Willow's light, all of Niwen, including Ku can be saved.

Ori eventually becomes successful in forming Seir, but along the way, Kwolok, who aided in the search for the Strength of the Forest, dies from injuries caused by the Stink Spirit's control at Luma Pools and learning of a prophecy of a guardian spirit returning to Niwen to restore life to the forest in Windtorn Ruins. They run into another encounter with Shriek. After Seir prevents Shriek from attacking the pair, Ori attempts to befriend Shriek, but is rejected instead due to Shriek's childhood trauma. Ori and Seir head to the site of the Spirit Willow, and learn that Ori will have to embrace Seir's light in order to replace the dying Spirit Willow and save Niwen at the cost of Ori's old life.

Before Ori and Seir could merge, Shriek attacks the pair one more time, separating them, before engaging Ori in a grueling duel for the fate of Niwen that tore the dying Spirit Willow and Weeping Ridge asunder. Ori successfully defeats Shriek, but is also left exhausted and wounded in the process. Ori limps their way to Seir and reflects on their past memory of their time with their family and in Niwen before accepting the new responsibility as Niwen's Spirit Tree in order to save Ku. Ori's sacrifice restores Niwen to life and heals Ku as well as her disabled wing.

Naru, Ku, Gumo, and a small group of Moki head to the site of Ori's merging, and witness Ori's spirit tree sprouting. Over the course of a number of years, Naru and Gumo help Ori's spirit tree grow. Naru eventually passes away from old age while lying at the Tree's roots. Now having grown into a giant spirit tree, a spirit leaf flies away from Ori's tree branch to begin a new life.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

At the start of the game, Ori is not very powerful at all. They can only perform basic functions such as walking, running, jumping, and saving. Over the course of the game, Ori accumulates a vast set of Skills and Abilities by learning the talents of other Spirit Guardians through the power of Ancestral Trees, by purchasing them from certain NPCs, or by triggering certain events. Once mastering the skills they have, Ori can be a very dangerous character to antagonize.

Despite their abilities, Ori is far from immortal to danger and can only take a little punishment before falling. A very small creature in an enormous, perilous forest, they are subject to many hazards that can kill them effortlessly. Out of all risks, Kuro and Shriek are Ori's greatest and most powerful threats.

Family[edit | edit source]

Tree[edit | edit source]

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • There is often a misconception about Ori's gender among fans. A certain line in the game, which occurs at Ori's first encounter with the Spirit Tree, has led many fans to believe Ori is female: "We told Ori the tale of her misguided will". The "her" is not referring to Ori, but to Kuro, as events in the game later show. A Moon Studios programmer later clarified in a Reddit Q&A that Ori is intentionally left ungendered, and that "it's open for everyone's personal interpretation!"[1]
  • Before the present way of combating was conceived, Moon Studios experimented with many different forms of attack for Ori. These include an aerial spin attack, a tail attack, and a stick attack. In the end, none of these came to pass and they ultimately went with Sein's light strikes. "What we found worked the best was a radial attack because it required you to get close to enemy but not have to line yourself up perfectly to take them down." says David Clark, a core programmer of Ori and the Blind Forest. "Having Sein lock onto the enemies and shoot the flames worked nicely because it made this nice separation - Ori is trying to run from everything, Sein is doing the attacking."[3]
  • Ori is labelled as Sein in the Debug menu, and vice versa. This implies that Ori and Sein's name were once swapped, which is confirmed in the Definitive Edition, where early concepts of the game displayed a far more human-like protagonist and its earlier title: Sein.
  • Originally, Ori was going to have multiple brutal and violent deaths while in development. This was changed in the final release.
  • In Will of the Wisps during the ending, on Ori's Trunk, Naru, Ku, Kuro and Gumo's faces can be seen.
Dialogue
First Cutscene We shall always remember the day when new life came to Nibel. We named her Ku. The sky called to her, Naru and Gumo heard it too. The answer laid in the past, her mother's last gift. Together on new wings, the sky was within reach. Separated by the storm, our story began.
After interacting with first ancestral tree As an Anceint Light awakened, Naru and Gumo sought through the night.
Upon entering Wellspring Thought the distance was vast, It could not keep the family apart.
Finding Ku The woods lay still, all ash and bone. It was time to find the way home.
Sighting Shriek She guarded the silence, and silence was kept.
Ku's feather The way home, just out of reach.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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